Dwarf Men’s Rights Activist
Books I am reading: A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons
Booze in my flagon: Leftover New Year’s champagne
Chapters: Tyrion I, Daenerys I, Brienne I
Tyrion is drunk. Like, all the time. He just pukes and drinks and drinks and pukes the whole voyage across the Narrow Sea. Life goals! He doesn’t know where he’s going. Jaime and Varys just stashed him on the ship and sent him away. The cabin boy who serves him won’t talk to him. He thinks about Lys and the brothels and wonders if that’s where whores go. Thus the most annoying catchphrase since Michelle Tanner’s “you got it, dude!” is born. You see, Tyrion asked a dying Tywin where his first wife Tysha was and Tywin’s answer was “wherever whores go.” Since Tyrion is going to be full of self pity for the foreseeable future, we’re gonna have to hear it a lot. I mean a lot. He thinks it a few more times.
The ship finally stops and the captain stuffs a struggling and pissing Tyrion into a wine cask. He’s stuck in there for half an hour. Then a big fat dude gets him out. He’s described as having a huge white belly and a pair of heavy breasts that sagged like sacks of suet covered with coarse yellow hair. And like a dead, rotting sea cow. Damn!
I feel like GRRM has some internalized fat phobia he needs to work out.
In case you haven’t figured it out, the rotting sea cow man is Illyrio Mopatis. Varys’ rich BFF. Illyrio takes him to his mansion and has him bathed and given a fancy bedroom. There’s a homoerotic statue of a naked teen boy poised to sword fight outside his window. Perhaps Bryan Singer lives here too? He figures out that he’s in Pentos and when Illyrio comes to his room to greet him, Tyrion asks where whores go.
Illyrio tells Tyrion there is no need for brothels because none of his servingwomen will refuse Tyrion. It’s heavily implied that they are slaves, even though slavery is outlawed in the Free Cities. He says this while stroking his beard prongs, because of course he does.
Tyrion wanders around the mansion and its grounds drinking and asking servants and even laundry drying on a line where whores go. Oh. My. God. I know Tyrion is popular, and I often like him too, but sometimes? Sometimes I feel like if he lived here and now, he’d be one of those guys who wonder feminist’s Twitter threads to whine about how men are being oppressed by women turning down men for dates. Fucking hell, dude. Get it together.
Anyway, he passes out on a garden bench and wakes up back in bed. A servant comes in to tell him that Illyrio is expecting him for dinner in an hour. Predictably, he asks where whores go. She asks him if he expects her to come visit him after dinner and when she’s visibly relieved that he says no, he’s done with women, he changes his mind, tells her to show up naked and makes threatening comments. He’s just straight up an MRA at this point.
There’s some more fat shaming at dinner, but there’s also lots of the patented GRRM food porn, so yeah, internalized fatphobia. There’s some mushrooms in garlic and butter that Illyrio makes him think are poisoned. They turned out not to be, but I guess they are enough to make Tyrion realize he wants to live so he can kill Jaime and Cersei. Illyrio gives him a Westrosi news roundup and finally gets to the point. Which is that he’s sending Tyrion to join the cause of a certain dragon. The name of this dragon is not mentioned, which is maybe a bit suspicious, huh?
Hey, speaking of dragons! Daenerys has started her rule in Meereen and things are not going smoothly. Barristan Selmy and Grey Worm bring her the corpse of a man. He has been killed by a pro-slaver group called Sons of the Harpy. I wonder if MAGAs are reading these books or watching GoT to root for them? The victim is an Unsullied named Stalwart Shield who had been visiting a brothel in order to get some cuddles because he’s a eunuch and that’s the only way he’ll get any love and affection. Dany has to hold back tears, and so do I.
Dany sends her Unsullied off to ask around and try to figure out who did this. Barristan notes that they will not be well suited to intelligence gathering, but there isn’t really anyone any better.
She goes out to the terrace and Viserion is there, napping. She notes that they’re growing larger and more wild.
Dany has her servants dress her in a tokar, which is kind of like an elaborate toga, so she can receive her subjects. She had wanted to ban this garment, as it’s the garment of the slavers, but her advisers convinced her to wear it in order to blend in. She thinks about how if her nephew Aegon had lived, she might have married him. Ew!
Two of her advisers, Reznak and Skahaz greet her. Skahaz shaved his head to symbolize that he was casting off the old ways. Like Robin Tunney in Empire Records. Or any other angsty movie teen who angstily cuts off all her hair. Lots of Skahaz’s buddies did the same and they are called Shavepates. He wants her to kill members of slaver houses every time the Sons of the Harpy kill someone. Reznak disagrees. She takes Reznak’s side and has him up the reward money.
The great hall is full of people. An Astapori lord name Ghael who has rotten brown teeth present her with some slippers from King Cleon. This is meant to entice her to marrying Cleon. It does not. Next the merchant Hizdahr comes to try and talk her into opening the fighting pits, which he now owns. This is the sixth visit he’s made. They would help the city’s economy, but she has a moral issue with poor folk being made to fight to the death. She turns him down. Another former slaver Grazdan, has come to try and get money from the weavers that used to be his slaves. The excuse being that they learned to weave under him, so he should get a profit from anything they sell. She orders him to give them a new loom.
Now I’m tired of summarizing this. Suffice to say, Meereen has turned into a real shitshow ever since she came along to disrupt their economy.
I know it seems like I’m hating on ADWD. I don’t hate it. A lot of it is great. But these early Dany and Tyrion chapters are quite a fucking slog.
Anyway, Dany has to pay money to people who have lost livestock to the dragons and the Meereenese kind of hate her now. Also, the last guy she receives presents her with the bones of a child that Drogon presumably ate.
Off topic but, I just started playing No Maker Made Me by IAMX and it matches perfectly with that dancing Batman gif. It’s almost hypnotic.
Back on topic, Brienne is searching for Sansa and so far it’s pretty futile. She’s stopped at Rosby, on the way to Duskendale. Nobody has seen anything. Brienne leaves town and rides past a campfire. The two hedge knights Ser Creighton and Illifer the Penniless mistake her for a man. She thinks about how all her life she is called freakish for being so big and tall. At first the knights are nice. They share their trout with her. But they observe her shield, it has the bats of the extinct house Lothston, formerly of Harrenhal on it. They work out from her size and cast off shield that she is the one accused of killing Renly. She denies that she killed him and thinks about how she’s been in love with him ever since she was an adolescent and he wasn’t all grossed out by her when visiting Tarth. The knights believe her and allow her to camp with them. She’s pretty relieved and happy when she wakes up and realizes that there are some decent men who don’t try to rape sleeping women. Relatable.
The knights invite themselves to travel with her. Along the way, they encounter a group of begging brothers and some followers. They are obnoxiously religious, call themselves sparrows and call the knights false for not wanting to escort them to King’s Landing for free.
Later on, they encounter yet another party. A merchant, some servants, and a hedge knight name Ser Shadrich. Shadrich is small and has a Napoleon complex so he makes fun of Brienne’s size, but she gives it right back to him. He says they call him the Mad Mouse because he likes to pick fights despite his puny size. He deduces that the blue eyed, auburn haired maid she is seeking is Sansa and announces his intentions to find her so he can collect ransom.
The party stops at an inn for the night. After everyone is asleep, Brienne ditches the party and rides off into the darkness.
Deaths in this recap: 1, Stalwart Shield
Cumulative deaths: 156
Maybe deaths in this recap: 0
Cumulative maybe deaths: 13
Betrayals in this recap: 0
Cumulative betrayals: 43
Incest incidents: 1, Dany thinking about marrying her nephew
Cumulative incests: 29